COURTENAY, B.C. – The provincial government is improving seniors’ care in the Comox Valley.

This morning, it was announced by provincial Health Minister Adrian Dix that a new long-term care facility will be built in the Valley.

“Our government is taking action to make sure the needs of frail, elderly seniors with complex conditions are met across the region,” Dix said.

“In conjunction with our action plan to increase direct-care hours, we are expanding the availability of residential and dementia care in the Comox Valley.”

Island Health has named Golden Life Management Corp. as the company to build and operate a new long-term care facility for the region, following a request for proposals (RFP) process.

The facility will have 126 publicly funded beds, including 120 residential care beds, two new hospice beds, and four already publicly funded hospice beds that will move to the new facility from The Views at St. Joseph’s.

Island Health expects construction to start this year, with occupancy as early as 2020.

In addition to the RFP process, Providence Residential and Community Care Society (an entity formed by Providence Health Care), will take ownership of St. Joseph’s on April 1st, 2019 and has an agreement to work with Island Health on a potential campus of care redevelopment plan, according to a release from the province.

The redevelopment would make the temporary 21 beds permanent and add up to 10 net new residential care beds. The hospice beds now in place would also be converted to respite beds. This is in addition to the replacement of the existing 116 residential care beds at The Views residential care facility.